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“The Great Succession Is Not Clear”: Qisong's Composition Of The True Lineage Texts And The Campaign For Their Acceptance At Court

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Chapter Summary

Qisong presents his writings on Buddhist-Confucian compatibility as a response to Confucian criticism of Buddhism and to the decline that criticism was prompting in both Buddhism and society; he identifies the motive for his composition of the True Lineage texts as distress over strife and misunderstanding of the true tradition. A re-discovery of Shenqing would have been particularly welcome given the practical, political reason mid-eleventh-century Tiantai monks had to raise doubts about the legitimacy of Chan lineage. Zifang's master, Renyue Jingjue, began his career as a loyal follower of Zhili, the major voice of the home-mountain position. In other words, Qisong claims that he came to Kaifeng because he wanted to present the True Lineage texts to the court.

Keywords: Kaifeng; Qisong's composition; True Lineage texts; Zifang



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